Derby joy for battling Bolton

Bolton Wanderers

Craig Davies and David Ngog came off the bench to turn a Lancashire derby on its head and hand Bolton three much-needed points in a 2-1 success against Burnley.

Following a goalless first-half of few chances, Burnley looked set to claim local bragging rights from the second time this season following David Edgar’s close-range finish in the 55th minute.

It prompted Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman to introduce strike pairing Davies and Ngog, initially to howls of derision from the Reebok Stadium faithful who were unhappy to see Marvin Sordell and lively winger Steve De Ridder withdrawn. But the switch proved to be inspired as Davies headed his first goal since joining from Barnsley last month before Ngog sealed the Trotters’ maiden league triumph of 2013 nine minutes from time.

Freedman’s men climb to 16th in the npower Championship table, although they remain three points above the relegation zone, while Burnley slip behind bitter rivals Blackburn into eighth, four points shy of the play-offs.

The Clarets made an enterprising start and Bolton had Darren Pratley to thank for keeping the game goalless in the 17th minute. Ross Wallace – fresh from signing a contract extension at Burnley this week – collected Dean Marney’s return backheel from a cleverly-worked short corner to drive across the face of goal, but Wales international Pratley hacked clear.

Craig Dawson had the two best chances of the half on his Bolton debut. He headed Jay Spearing’s outswinging corner narrowly wide at the back post before from another set-piece saw the on-loan defender force the half’s only meaningful save from Lee Grant.

Given the predominant method of creating chances in the match, it was somewhat inevitable when Burnley went ahead from a 55th minute corner. Wallace hung up a cross to the back post where McCann towered above the Bolton defence to nod back across goal and leave Edgar with a simple nodded finish.

Then came Freedman’s ill-received changes that would send a sceptical Reebok crowd into raptures.

In the 66th minute, Lee Chung-Yong engineered room to swing a ball in from the left and Davies glanced beyond Grant via the underside of the crossbar.

An from another corner Kevin Davies – another substitute – made a customary nuisance of himself, and Burnley were unable to fully clear. Spearing drove back towards goal where Ngog stole in front of Burnley full-back Danny Lafferty to turn the ball home.